Search the Collections

Jules Ferdinand Jacquemart
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
A leading etcher during the 19th -century French etching revival, Jules Jacquemart was widely admired for his reproductive etchings of old master paintings and objects d’art published in journals, books and albums and for original etched compositions published by Alfred Cadart (1828-1875). Critics and artists of his day thought Jacquemart and Félix Bracquemond (1833-1914) were the two best etchers of their time. He received early training from his father Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875), a collector and painter and the head clerk of the Ministry of Finance. His artistic debut came in 1859 with the publication of illustrations of objects d’art in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, a collaboration that would last for most of his life. In that journal and in L’Art Jacquemart illustrated a variety of works of art held in private collections and in the Louvre. He published 60 etched plates in the Gazette, along with numerous drawings and sketches. The journal’s director, Louis Gonse (1846-1921), was so taken with Jacquemart’s art that the Gazette published a catalogue raisonné of his etchings in 1875 and 1876, followed by an appendix after his death cataloguing later prints. Jacquemart’s oeuvre includes his etchings of art objects, prints reproducing paintings and original compositions. His precise and detailed images of objets d’art amounted to independent still-lifes, which were published in six books and albums as well as journals. He provided illustrations for two of his father’s works, Histoire artistique, industrielle et commercial de la porcelaine and Histoire de la céramique. The former may include the first published prints by a French artist depicting Asian art works. Jacquemart’s 60 plates for Henry Barbet de Jouy’s (1812-1896) two-volume work on the French Crown jewels (Les Gemmes et joyaux de la couronne au Musée du Louvre) are the masterpieces of his etchings of art objects. He also etched the plates for A History of Americain Medals for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a study of 16th century bookbindings, and a a study of a collection of armaments. Jacquemart’s etched reproductions of 19th-century and old master artists included one of the finest of such works of the period, a depiction of Jan Vermeer’s (1632-1675) Soldier and Laughing Girl (Gonse 268). His reproductions included works of British, Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian and Spanish masters. One notable commission in 1871 was to reproduce ten paintings sold by Paul Colnaghi (1751-1833) and his son Domenic Colnaghi (1790-1879) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, published in an album by the Colnaghis. One of the original members of Cadart’s Société des Aqua-fortistes (Society of Etchers), Jacquemart etched six original compositions published in 1862, 1863 and 1864 among the portfolios that Cadart published for members of the Société. He may be best known for his frontispiece for the first portfolio, Le Révil de l’eau-forte (The Awakening of Etching, Gonse 331). Jacquemart was one of the first 19th-century French artists who became interested in Japanese art, joining Bracquemond, Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) and Philippe Burty (1830-1890), among others, to form the Société du Jing-lar in the 1860s. Several of his original compositions reflect the influence of Japanese art or concern Japanese subjects. Jacquemart began exhibiting in the Paris Salon in 1861, and continued to do so through the 1870s, winning medals in 1864, 1866, 1867 and 1878. He was made a member of the Legion of Honor in 1869. He became an excellent watercolorist late in his career, and was one of the founders of the Société des Aquarellistes in 1879. (TNB 5/2010) Selected bibliography: Bailly-Herzberg, Janine. L’Eau-forte de peintre au dix-neuvième siècle: La Société des aquafortistes, 1862–1867. Paris: Leonce Laget, 1972. Ganz, James A. “Jules Jacquemart: Forgotten Printmaker of the Nineteenth Century,” Bulletin of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, vol. 87, no. 370 (Spring, 1991). Weisberg, Gabirel P., Phillip D. Cate, Gerald Needham, Martin Eidelberg and William R. Johnston. Japonisme: Japanese Influence on French Art, 1854–1910. Exhibition catalog. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1975.